In the fall of 2021, CRRJ launched a partnership with the Jefferson County Memorial Project (JCMP). Five undergraduate and graduate students in the Birmingham area worked with CRRJ to investigate police killings and lynchings that occurred in Jefferson County, Alabama. The students built on the work CRRJ previously conducted and shared in the 2020 Report, Police Killings in Jefferson County, Alabama: 1930-1970. Each student investigated two cases and engaged in research and factual development, including conducting archival research at the Alabama State Archives and Birmingham Public Library.
The Jefferson County Memorial Project is a grassroots coalition composed of more than 35 community partners and a multi-racial, multi-faith, multi-sector, and multi-generational group of committed volunteers. JCMP’s goals include researching racial terror killings in the county; educating the public about this history; placing historical markers at lynching sites; and advocating for reforms.
In December 2021, JCMP and the District Attorney’s Office of Jefferson County were awarded nearly $500k of funding through the Department of Justice’s Emmett Till Cold Case Investigations and Training and Technical Assistance Program. The grant will support investigations into civil rights era cold cases, as well as community engagement and truth-telling processes. CRRJ will continue to collaborate with JCMP and the District Attorney’s Office to support case investigations and truth and reconciliation processes. Read more about the award here.